John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Promoting John Cale

At Rockpalast press release

Live at Rockpalast press release

This text was used as a press release for the Live At Rockpalast set. Issued by Made in Germany Music (March 2010).

Even today, JOHN CALE is renowned for having been a member of the Velvet Underground alongside Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker and Sterling Morrison. Though less known to many fans are his early collaborations with avant-garde musicians like John Cage or La Monte Young.

His solo works have always been a mixture of classical influenced avant-garde, orchestral works and dynamic, experimental Rock.

Live At Rockpalast

He has worked as a musician, producer (Nico, Patti Smith, Happy Mondays, to name a few) and arranger. His collaborations with artists such as Brian Eno, Kevin Ayers or Little Feat are legendary. When he was invited for the Rockpalast-Festival on October, 14th 1984, he had just released the desolate masterpiece Music For A New Society (1982), Caribbean Sunset (1983) and John Cale Comes Alive (1984).

Compared to the official live album, JOHN CALE’s performance at the Rockpalast was far more intense, desperate and wild. He performed the songs with a very hard edge, sometimes even deconstructed them (Heartbreak Hotel), receiving a mixed reaction from the audience, that just has survived performances of Level 24, Huey Lewis & The News and Chalice.

Live At Rockpalast

When JOHN CALE appeared onstage it nearly was 3 o’clock in the morning, the atmosphere in the hall was as tense and menacing as the concert that followed.

Starting with the self ironic Autobiography (a song that has never been played or released before or after!), this concert represents the rock-musician JOHN CALE, playing highlights from the last studio album Caribbean Sunset as well as all-time-classics like Fear Is A Man's Best Friend, Paris 1919 and a breathtaking version of the Velvet Underground-classic Waiting For The Man. Supported by David Lichtenstein (drums), Andy Heermans (bass) and David Young (guitar) JOHN CALE presented the songs in very rough, sparse, nearly minimalistic arrangements, always cutting the edge and strictly coming the point in every song.

Live At Rockpalast

Up to this day, this performance remains one of the most spectacular concerts in the history of the Rockpalast-Series.

In sharp contrast to this performance you will find four bonus tracks of his solo performance recorded the year before on March 6th, at Zeche Bochum.

Here you will find the more introverted JOHN CALE: a man and his guitar and piano, performing his all-time-classics. The concert in Bochum was recorded shortly after the release of the very intimate and fragile album Music For A New Society, therefore the performance of great classics like Buffalo Ballet, Child's Christmas in Wales or Close Watch is very sparse, but crafted and sensitive as well. Altogether, this set perfectly represents the many facettes of the JOHN CALE in the early 80s – it is a historic document which stands the test of time.

© 1999- Hans Werksman